SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A former football coach at Dos Pueblos High School faces felony charges for stalking a former student athlete.
Santa Barbara police arrested Justin Anthony Sell, 27, on June 21 at his home on the 4600 block of Tajo Drive.
The police investigation began on June 6 when the victim reported - that Sell had been harassing and stalking them since mid-May. The victim who lives in Santa Barbara told police the harassment included annoying phone calls, surveillance, confronting the victim in public and even creating a fictitious Facebook account. Police said Sell used the Facebook page to post demeaning comments about the victim and to befriend the victim's contacts. The victim told police the continuous stalking caused significant and sustained fear.
On June 21, police obtained a felony arrest warrant for Sell and searched his home. Officers arrested him without incident. Investigators who questioned Sell said he admitted to nearly all of the acts described by the victim and other witnesses. Sell allegedly told police that he stalked the victim because he perceived that his friendship with the victim was failing.
The following the press released issued by SBPD on Thursday:
Subject: SBPD Media Release - Stalking Arrest MEDIA RELEASE Stalking Arrest SANTA BARBARA, CA - June 27, 2013 Justin Anthony Sell, age 27, of unincorporated Santa Barbara, was arrested for stalking, a felony. Sell is a former football coach at Dos Pueblos High School and the victim is a former student athlete. On June 6, 2013 officers from the Santa Barbara Police Department began investigating instances of harassment and stalking perpetrated by Sell against a former student. The victim and the victim's family are Santa Barbara residents. Sell's behavior in this case started in mid-May 2013 and included annoying phone calls, surveillance of the victim and the victim's residence, confronting the victim in public, creating a fictitious Facebook account for the purpose of posting demeaning comments about the victim and befriending the victim's contacts, and articulating the intent to move to the state where the victim will be attending college. The totality of the circumstances caused the victim to experience significant, sustained fear. On June 21, 2013 SBPD Crimes Against Persons Detective Charlie Katsapis obtained a $150,000.00 felony arrest warrant for Sell for the crime of stalking and a search warrant for his residence on the 4600 block of Tajo Drive. On June 25, 2013 a team of detectives executed the search warrant and arrested Sell without incident. When interviewed by Detective Katsapis, Sell admitted to committing nearly all of the acts described by the victim and other witnesses. Sell's motivation for stalking the victim was his perception that his friendship with the victim was failing. Sell was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on the aforementioned charge. Photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.